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Sat, Feb 27, 2010

Astronaut To Address Civil Air Patrol 'Spaatz' Cadets

Civil Air Patrol Senior Member Eric Boe Is Pilot For Upcoming STS-133

Civil Air Patrol's past and present "Spaatz" cadets will hear from one of their own, U.S. astronaut Eric Boe, when they convene Saturday for The Spaatz Association's 2010 Annual Dinner and Awards Event at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, VA.

Boe, a U.S. Air Force colonel and Civil Air Patrol senior member, reached great heights in 2008 as pilot of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. The 16-day mission, STS-126, was a great success, delivering equipment and supplies to expand the capacity of the International Space Station in late 2008. He expects to return to space later this year as the shuttle pilot for STS-133, targeted to launch in September. The eight-day mission will carry a pressurized logistics module to the space station.

Like many of the former and current cadets attending Saturday's dinner, Boe is a recipient of the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award - CAP's highest cadet award. He earned the award as a CAP cadet in Georgia in 1983 and retains his CAP membership today. He credits CAP for first sparking his interest in flight and is a staunch supporter of CAP, serving as keynote speaker for the nonprofit, all-volunteer organization's annual conference in San Antonio in September.

At the annual conference, Boe encouraged both CAP cadets and senior members to "Dream big! You have to be able to dream it before you can do it." That is a message he is expected to bring to Arlington Saturday when he visits with his fellow Spaatz cadets as their featured speaker.

The Spaatz banquet is part of a full week of activities for Civil Air Patrol members. During CAP's Legislative Day, on Thursday, the organization's 52 wing and eight region commanders, as well as youth involved in the cadet program, will personally brief their congressional representatives in Washington, D.C., on how CAP's primary missions - search and rescue, emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs - have made a difference in their communities during fiscal year 2009.

"Our legislators, and the citizens they represent, are CAP's stakeholders," said CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Amy S. Courter. "We want them to know what an incredible job CAP volunteers are doing in their communities both in the air and on the ground."

Eric Boe

CAP resources were put to work in 2009 in support of communities across America, making the organization of citizen volunteers a true force multiplier for the U.S. Air Force. CAP's flying operations increased 6 percent last year, with volunteers logging 112,000 hours in CAP's versatile fleet of 550 aircraft.
 
Civil Air Patrol volunteers were credited with saving 72 lives through search and rescue missions, many of which are now due to advances in technology in which CAP is the known leader. Through the use of cell phone forensics and radar technology, many lives were saved by getting search and rescue personnel to survivors quickly. This was accomplished entirely by dedicated volunteers using their talents and education to help others. 
 
CAP's disaster relief teams also provided critical support to communities nationwide. Personnel flew reconnaissance flights to assist emergency managers in combating forest fires, managing the effects of winter ice storms and dealing with massive flooding.

Legislative Day will be conducted in conjunction with CAP's Winter National Board meeting to be held Friday and Saturday at the Marriott Crystal City in Arlington. The CAP National Board consists of 69 members representing each state, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, within the organization's eight regions. The board is CAP's policy-making arm and, in conjunction with the CAP Board of Governors, proposes amendments to the governing constitution and bylaws.

Speakers for the Winter National Board will include R. Philip Deavel, a member of the Senior Executive Service, who is deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for Reserve Affairs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), at the Pentagon. Within the Air Force, he is responsible for coordinating, planning and establishing policy for the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and Civil Air Patrol.

Besides Boe, other speakers at Saturday's Spaatz banquet include Courter, who will introduce keynote speaker Daniel B. Ginsberg, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. Katherine Gresham, the Spaatz family historian, also will visit to share details from her grandfather's war diaries.

FMI: www.gocivilairpatrol.com

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